Scandinavian Roots

As Scandinavian immigrants in the Hayward area began holding worship services in homes, they soon concluded that there “were enough Scandinavians in the area to warrant building a church.”  On Christmas Day, 1885 a meeting was called following the worship service to discuss organizing a Scandinavian Lutheran Church.  Another meeting was held on January 20, 1886 with the Rev. Johannes E. Nord of Rice Lake.  A constitution was drafted and signed by seventeen men.

In 1886 lots were purchases and a church was constructed by members with materials purchases on credit from the lumber company.  The church was ready for services in 1897 with orange crates and blocks of shingles used for seating.  A parsonage was purchases in 1916.

Until 1916, the congregation was served by Rev. Nord who came from Rice Lake by horse and buggy or, in winter, by horse and cutter until rail service was available.  In following years, the congregation has been blessed by the service of many competent, dedicated and faithful pastors.

The transition from an immigrant church to today’s community-based congregation was not easy.  Services were held in the Norwegian language until 1924, when it was decided to use Norwegian and English on alternating Sundays.  By 1941, the eleven o’clock service was held in English; time and frequency of Norwegian services were determined by the Pastor.

Adapted from the 1998 edition of First Lutheran Church's Cookbook.